Da 5 Bloods is a war epic directed by Spike Lee. The plot sees a group of Vietnam Veterans return to the country to find some gold they stashed away years earlier, as well as to find the body of their lost comrade and bring him home.
Before I get into it all I just want to say this is an incredibly powerful film on multiple different levels, especially in the current climate. Some of the points raised in the film hit very close to home and will affect you. I recommend taking some time at the end of the film to just sit and think about it, there is a lot to unpack.
The main foursome is made up of Paul (Delroy Lindo), Eddie (Norm Lewis), Otis (Clarke Peters), and Melvin (Isiah Whitlock Jr). Each man gives a stellar performance and the chemistry between the four goes past believable to enthralling. You can genuinely see them all being old army buddies.
I think Paul is the most layered and interesting character of the group as he is a broken man. He highlights the effects of war that stay with a person long after the fighting has ended; he sees visons of his dead best friend and squad leader that haunt him. Also the dynamic between him and his son David (Jonathan Majors), is very nuanced and well developed.
This comes very close to being a perfect film, however there is one thing that drags it back: the fourth wall breaking. There are a couple of scenes towards the end of the film where Paul talks directly to the camera and recites a monologue to us the audience, the issue with these scenes is that they break the flow of the film. They take us out of the action and feel oddly jarring.
Overall, a masterpiece with only a few slight faults. A must watch.
Addressing the audience.
Reviewed by Luke